22 May 2017

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (3D): Sweet Irreverence and Fun Keeps it Interesting


There is a thin vein of something pretending to be a story in the latest Marvel comic books adaptation Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Happily, you don't even have to know what is going on, except that the good side is winning.

For the film is finally about great jokes, great jokes, great jokes, great jokes, the lovely 80's, 90's throwback moments, hilarious deadpan TV series references, more cracking jokes, a zippy soundtrack and superb visual effects.

Oh yeah, and the 3D is put to real cool use here. Don't miss the Baby Groot opening credits dance, amidst a giant octopus mayhem. Groovy!

Stretched, but so damn funny
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 does pull it off in keeping us interested in a 2-hour, 18-minute running time.

A rocking, crazy celebration when it works, this sequel tells us why we love comic books -  not the heavy-mindedness but escapist, crazy, rebellious rule-bending characters to root for. High five Rocket! And you too Drax! A dizzy, firecracker festival of the unreal, in a glittering color combination mixtape. The film adapts essential comic book aspects to chirpy effect, in so many parts.

That said, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 still feels stretched in its climax. There's no immediacy or grave thrill to its villainy. But so much of it is so damn funny, you will not complain.

Go enjoy most of what is served as mad intergalactic space fun. Frankly, I would ignore the lack of any solid story altogether if they make Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 madder.

Here are a bunch of superhero saviors for whom the jokes and chemistry fit pat right. Comic books fans, the 3D version is highly recommended.

21 May 2017

Movie Review: Hindi Medium: Irrfan Khan Saves the Day!


Two teenage lovers and their oh so innocent cuteness decorate the opening credits of Hindi Medium over an Atif Aslam song, though these scenes have no effect on the remainder of the film. Just episodic rather than consequential.

Story 
15 years later... (All Hindi, little bit English) Raj (Irrfan Khan) and (Knows her English) Meeta (Saba Qamar) are happily married. Raj is a successful businessman with his own women's attire store. Meeta is meanwhile obsessed over getting the daughter admission in any of the top five English medium schools in Delhi. Raj and Meeta haplessly join the rat race for admission forms, learning activity and consulting classes. When Pia doesn't get admission, the couple takes an extreme step in changing their social status for an admission seat at a coveted school.  

Good, When Light
As a comic satire on the Indian education system, Hindi Medium has many moments of genuine laughter in its first half. How much English matters as a language in India is lightly put across here. It is the labored, wannabe 'social message loudspeaker' second half that almost ruins it. Whenever Hindi Medium opts for seriousness and preachy monologuing it stumbles and falls. 

Irrfan Khan Rocks!
Irrfan Khan is exceptional here, nailing every scene, even lifting otherwise contrived scenes with sheer exuberance. Saba Qamar is decent as his wife. The criminally-talented Deepak Dobriyal makes us believe his character of a good-hearted poor man. 

Verdict  
Overall, Hindi Medium is a good one-time watch for its comic scenes. This could have been a mad satire if they had kept the comic ring going all through. The makers have Irrfan Khan to thank for holding the whole film together with sheer talent and uncanniness. Do watch it for Irrfan!

5 May 2017

Baahubali 2: Five Prominent Plot Holes


There are several logic bending scenes in Baahubali 2, and with no backstory or explanations, many elements are just passed over. The source of superhuman strength, for example, and why it is confined to only Amrendra Bahubali, Mahendra Bahubali, and Bhallala Deva is never explained. What special steroid-flooded diet were they consuming? Listing four prominent plot holes here:
  1. There is no explanation given to the people who capture Katappa. Is this a deliberate plan to ambush Amrendra Bahubali? We never know.
  2. Katappa gets to know of Bijjaladeva's intention to kill his wife Sivagami and decides to tell...nobody!
  3. On hindsight, Katappa's killing of Amrendra Bahubali is still unconvincing. Katappa could so easily have warned Bahubali in advance. Considering Katappa really liked Bahubali, his actions are contradictory to his character.
  4. Sivagami has always known that her husband Bijjaladeva has evil intentions and roots for their son Bhallala Deva. She is easily the most intelligent and commanding character in the film. So for her to get influenced by her husband's wicked instigations is just not done.
  5. How Mahendra Bahubali and his mini-army manage to defeat the mighty Mahishmati Kingdom within hours of hearing Katappa's story narration, is just convenient, rushed storytelling.

On a Lighter Note
A joke doing the rounds on WhatsApp:

Don't just bow down to what the top management tells you to do.
Forge your own path.
Log on to naukri.com!
Don't be a Katappa!